Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'O Canada'

I have had a few people ask me for tab on this one so I figured I'd make a post out of it. This is the Canadian national anthem played in 3 finger style.

There are alot of Scruggs licks in here but also some twists. Have a listen here and then I'll explain things a bit...

video

And here is the tab...





You can also download the tabledit file here (you will need to install tabledit software to read it) http://www.banjohangout.org/tab/browse.asp?m=detail&ie6fix=1&v=11894

The very beginning of the tune can be played in loose time. It serves as an introduction of the melody and is played with a combination of full chords and 2 part harmony. The 4 finger voices can be played by strumming with the thumb pick.

After the very brief introduction it kicks in to the fun stuff. Most of the first section is made up of standard rolls and licks. It kicks off with a descending lick leading to the B melody note. This is followed by some fairly routine bluegrass picking intended to bring out the melody. Measures 13-14 offer a little bit of contrary motion in the harmony (higher part ascends while lower part descends) which I pick with index and middle finger pinches.

Measures 24-40 are played higher up the neck. This section switches things up with a chord melody device. Essentially I am using standard closed shape major chord voicings ('D-shape','F-shape' and straight barre) to play the melody while the right hand keeps mostly to an alternating thumb pattern. I bring the right hand closer to the neck for this section for a deeper, mellower tone. Switching the right hand position also serves to break things up so when it returns to the more straight ahead down the neck stuff the snap and twang jump right out.

The last section of the tune returns to good old down the neck picking and finishes off with a little quote from the Bob and Doug Mackenzie movie 'Stange Brew' in measures 62-64 (ooo roo coo coo coo coo coo coooo..) and then tags it off in measure 65 with a bit of a backward roll driven finisher. Then the 5th fret harmonic just so everyone knows it's done.

Have fun with this and as always let me know if you've go questions.

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